SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Introduction to the Study of Sanskrit

An intensive 1-week course aimed at those who wish to know about the relationship of Sanskrit to other languages, its pronunciation and its writing system prior to embarking on formal or independent study of the language

10 hours (three evenings a week and Saturday daytime for one week)

2016 Entry requirements

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Syllabus
  • Materials
  • Fees and funding
  • Apply


Mode of Attendance: Part Time

This SOAS Language Centre course in Sanskrit is designed to give participants an appreciation of Sanskrit as a linguistic system. The course, whilst being self-contained, also provides a useful orientation for those negotiating self-study as well as a solid foundation for those intending to register for Sanskrit Beginners 1 in the autumn, 2014. The course concentrates on developing the ability to pronounce Sanskrit and to read the devanāgarī script. No knowledge of any language other than English is presupposed and the terminology used to describe grammatical concepts (particularly as they relate to Sanskrit) is incorporated gradually.  


The course is taught in English. Class size is limited to twelve to allow close involvement.

Summary of course contents (by session)
  • Monday,28 July 2014 (18:00-20:00)
    • Sanskrit and the Indo-European languages
    • The sociolinguistics of Sanskrit
    • The sound system of Sanskrit
  • Wednesday,30 July 2014 (18:00-20:00)
    • Exploring the writing system
    • The devanāgarī script (i): consonants
    • Writing and pronunciation practice
  • Thursday,31 July 2014 (18:00-20:00)
    • The devanāgarī script (ii): vowels and semi-vowels
    • The devanāgarī script (iii): conjunct consonants
    • Putting it together: the Sanskrit word
  • Saturday, 2 August 2014 (10:00-12:00)
    • Exploring declension: the noun
    • Exploring conjugation: the verb
    • Sandhi: the concept of euphonic combination
  • Saturday, 2 August 2014 (13:00-15:00)
    • Reading exercise
    • Overview and consolidation
    • Tips and suggestions for further study

Continuing your study

This intensive course is designed to stimulate an interest in Sanskrit and is ideal preparation for the Sanskrit Beginners 1 course (Please note that Sanskrit Beginners 1 is the first of three terms for beginners and will be scheduled to start in the autumn 2014). Those who are interested in registering for the Sanskrit Beginners 1, having completed the intensive course, will be offered the option to register for the second half of the first term, in order to avoid covering material with which they will already be familiar. The fee, in this case, will be reduced pro rata.  





There is no single text that forms the basis of these courses, so study materials will be provided. Applicants may nevertheless wish to consult the following, which is the designated text for Sanskrit Beginners, which starts in the autumn:

Maurer, W. H. (2009) The Sanskrit Language: An Introductory Grammar and Reader (Revised Ed.). London: Routledge.


The course is taught in small groups with a maximum of twelve students per group. Classes will be held at the Bloomsbury Campus of SOAS in central London. Participants receive 10 hours of language tuition over one week.

Fees and funding


Language Centre How To Apply)

Language Centre How To Apply)


You can view our short course timetables here.

You can enrol:

Not a complete beginner?

If you are not a complete beginner, you will need to complete an assessment for course placement, allowing us to decide which course is right for you.

To apply for an assessment please complete our Needs Analysis Form (pdf; 33kb) and send to the relevant email inbox where a Course Officer will contact you for scheduling.

Course Fees and Discounted Rates

An overview of our Short Course Fees and Discounted Rates.

If you are eligible for a discount, you will not be able to complete your transaction on the Online Store. You will need to bring a paper Application Form (pdf; 107kb) , including your Staff/Student card for us to make a copy of, after which we can process your application at the discounted rate.

Returning students

If you are a returning student, you will have received a letter informing you of the procedures for rejoining prior to the start of the registration period. You can pay using any method indicated above. Returning students, if they are continuing onto the course indicated as the progression course, do not need to be assessed.